Healthy Schools BC Stories

Community: Saanichton
School Name: Parkland Secondary School
School District: SD063
Health Authority: Island Health Authority
School Level: All
Category: School Connectedness
Inquiry: Yes
CSH Approach: No
Receieved HSN Grant: Yes
Date Submitted: 05/06/2014
Lillian Jones
Education Sector

Celebrating Indigenous Food and Culture

Parkland Secondary School has a diverse glimpse into the wide spectrum of people in our world; this makes for an amazing community to belong to. WSANEC peoples are the First Peoples of this land and they are our hosts. We'd like to acknowledge our gratitude of being able to live, work, and teach in their territory. Thank you.

WSANEC poeples' are sharing more of their students with our district; with this growing population, the WSANEC students gathered and felt it was crucial to ensure that our diverse group feel welcome. The traditional way to welcome people is to share in a meal. The importance of sharing a meal allows us to have a conversation about values which demonstrates acknowledgement.

We began our year by bringing local WSANEC students from our two feeder schools: elementary and middle; in order, to create the family that is responsible for being welcoming guests to their territory. Teachers from the three schools prepared a turkey luncheon. Students facilitated their gathering by offering the prayer and being of service to one another. This event allowed the students to bond across the ages.

In the spring, we invited two First Nations Studies 12 classes to enjoy in a First Nations dance performance and eat traditional baked bread called 'scow'. The dance performance was an hour long and the bread was prepared by students. One of our WSANEC students spoke in front of the entire audience of 400+ students and teachers; she welcomed the guests to her territory and introduced the performer. It was a successful event. The message that was delivered during the performance by our students was: now is the time to begin celebrating with all of their peers rather than just amongst themselves. It was a powerful message that has allowed many relationships to flourish between students.

Our future plan is to bring a meal to each class next year and share our values. Our students believe that food brings us together; are they ever right!